Kevin Love’s reported interest in the Golden State Warriors piqued the interest of the Warriors World staff and prompted a 3-on-3 post:
1. Your Ideal Kevin Love Trade for the Warriors
Rasheed Malek: I think I’ve seen over 264749 different trade scenarios this week from Warriors fans expressing their thirst for Kevin Love. The Warriors gave up significant expiring contracts and draft picks last summer when they made the moves to acquire Andre Iguodala, those moves limit what the Warriors can potentially offer the Timberwolves.
Ideal scenario, the Warriors send David Lee, Harrison Barnes and their 2015 1first-round draft pick to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Any trade with Minnesota for Love will most likely include the Warriors having to take back a “bad” contract or two from the Wolves in exchange for the Warriors TPE.
Jesse Taylor: Klay Thompson is an excellent two-way player who has gotten significantly better in each of his three seasons. Based on his entire life being based on basketball (and reggae music), I expect him to put in a lot of work this summer and come back even better next season.
So ideally, it would be great to trade David Lee, Harrison Barnes, a draft pick (following the 2014 NBA Draft) and some throw-ins for Kevin Love and throw-ins. Not sure if that gets it done or not.
A starting five of Steph Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Love and Andrew Bogut would be the best lineup the Warriors would have since most of us were born. It beats the “We Believe” squad, Chris Webber’s rookie team, Run TMC and maybe even the 1974-75 champions.
J.M. Poulard: It’s going to take a lot for Golden State to snag Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves despite the fact he wants out. I suspect the deal Minny would want is David Lee, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for Love.
However, because Kevin Martin is signed until 2016-17, the Wolves might be more inclined to accept a deal featuring Harrison Barnes, Lee and Green.
2. Where would Steph Curry/Kevin love duo rank in NBA tandems? (CP3/Blake, TP/Duncan, Russ/KD, Dame/Lillard, Bron/Bosh, etc)
Malek: If all current duos stay together entering next season, I’d place a tandem of Steph Curry and Kevin Love only behind LeBron/Bosh and Russ/KD. Steph and Love would instantly be the best PG/PF duo in the league as their ability to score from anywhere in the halfcourt would create nightmares for the defense. Love sending outlet passes to Steph for transition three-pointers, Steph/Love pick and roll, pick and pop would cause Warriors fans to go nuts on a nightly basis.
Taylor: This is an important question, because adding Love gives the Warriors two star players. Today, depending on who’s hot, there’s a valid argument for any of the other four starters as the second-best player behind Curry.
It’s hard to win in the NBA without two stars. To get over the hump and become a contender, the Warriors need one more.
In terms of ranking, I’d put Curry and Love at number three, barely edging out CP3 and Blake. No. I can’t do that. Sorry, my anti-whine/flop bias crept in. CP3 and Blake are No. 3. Curry/Love would need to prove themselves next year, so for now, I’d rank them No. 4, ahead of Dame[Lillard]/ LaMarcus, George/West and Harden/Howard.
LeBron and any other person on the planet is always going to be the best duo. KD and Russ come in second.
Poulard: That’s a top-five duo and possibly even top three:
- Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant
- Chris Paul and Blake Griffin
- Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge
- Stephen Curry and Kevin Love
- James Harden and Dwight Howard
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade miss the cut given that Wade was out for 28 games and Chris Bosh was a bit inconsistent this season. Normally one of them alongside LeBron should be good enough for top-two status. In the meantime, Curry and Love certainly rank fairly high.
3. Warriors acquire Love, how much do they improve next season? Top 4?
Malek: A starting lineup of Steph/Klay/Iggy/Love/Bogut would put the Warriors in contention with OKC next season for the best record in the Western Conference. With the Spurs getting a year older and slower, and the Clippers being embroiled in drama with their Owner it would allow the Warriors to slide into the top-two spots in the West. You’re looking at a Warriors team which could win 60 games… That’s something we’ve never seen before as with the Warriors history, 60 wins used to be a good two-season stretch.
Taylor: If they only lose Lee and Barnes? Top four easy. They’d pass Houston and Portland. Maybe even the Spurs if someone finally spears Duncan, Park and Ginobili with some dragonglass (sorry, had to throw in the customary basketball blogging reference to Game of Thrones). I can even see smoking the Clippers and battling the Thunder for the #1 Western Conference spot.
If they lose Klay, I’m not sure they are in that same spot.
Poulard: With Love on board, me thinks the Warriors surpass the Los Angeles Clippers and give the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs a scare at the top of the Western Conference standings.
Granted, a lot of it will have to do with how Steve Kerr steers the team, but the talent in Golden State might simply be overwhelming.